Burma Shave Signs: The Back Story of the Pathway Banners

Wow, has it really been more than 25 years for Doug & me? Yep, and I really do refer back to my own wonderful day – surprisingly often.

My Chalk Cloth banners did not start out because of Kathy, but this usage of them was certainly inspired by Kathy. Yes, if you’ve hunted around through my other “Party Time” posts, you will see that Kathy serves as a frequent muse.

Kathy was one of my bridesmaids (and a bestie since 1st grade). She is artistically talented, a great creative thinker, giving and generous in all she does; and of all my bridesmaids, happened to live closest to our reception venue.

Our reception was quite a ways “out there”. I was a bit worried we might lose a few guests who were not familiar with the locale. So, without much notice, I asked Kathy if she would make a sign and post it along the side of the road marking where our guests were to turn. My vision: one poster board on a stake with a few balloons or streamers attached.

Kathy’s vision: (remember this is Kathy we’re talking about) a whole series of signs to entertain and direct our guests; as well as delight the happy couple! Yes, Kathy took the Burma Shave highway signs of old as her inspiration. As our guests drove south on State Line Road, they were greeted with: “Diane did Swoon” ……  “In Doug’s Balloon”  …..   “Now They are Wed” …..   “Reception Ahead”  …..  “Turn Left! (Here)”

Rather than just directing motor traffic, I love the idea of a series of banners directing and welcoming foot traffic with a personal message lining the sidewalk or path from parking to your venue. Set the tone early and give your guests a peek of the fun the lies ahead.

Use lanterns, rustic fence pickets, garden urns, garden stakes, etc.

Oh, and yes, my dear hubby, Doug, did propose to me in a hot air balloon. Sigh!

Our day was wonderful! I knew that there would be times that life would get messy.  It was important to me to hang on to a piece of that day to always remind us of where we started and the promise our life together held. Flowers wilt and die, tuxedos go back, dresses get carefully cleaned, wrapped and tucked away. Photos are wonderful, but I wanted something else. So what did I hang on to? Yes, Kathy’s Burma Shave signs!

Honestly, I did. Yep, super sap here! And for many years, on our anniversary, I pulled them out and leaned them against the deck railing or the dining room wall, wherever we were celebrating. Sadly, they didn’t make it through this last move. But, happily we made it through that move and eagerly anticipate what is still ahead together.

And yes, [cornball alert!] our love still burns bright:

[Thanks for the cornball indulgence!]

I wish I had had these banners from the get go of our married adventure; to weave a small piece of our beginning throughout all the celebrations that have followed. But you can bet they are often present now, celebrating the big event of our dear friends’ 50th anniversary to the proud victory of that first A on a Spelling Test – no small feat for a child with dyslexia.



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